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Georgetown Gondola Concept Hits Small Snag

by UrbanTurf Staff

Georgetown Gondola Concept Hits Small Snag: Figure 1
A rendering of the gondola. Georgetown BID.

Plans for the Georgetown gondola hit a little bit of a snag on Wednesday.

The group advancing a 15-year plan for the neighborhood, Georgetown 2028, learned that a study to determine the feasibility of a gondola connecting Georgetown and Rosslyn was not among those recommended by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments for funding.

“The project did not enter this round of funding but we continue to work with the city, Arlington and private interests to fully fund the feasibility study,” Georgetown BID spokesperson Rachel Cothran told UrbanTurf.

The group has already received commitments of approximately $100,000 from private donors, and despite Wednesday’s news, it expects to have funding lined up in the next few months.

“A number of developers have said that they will help fund it,” Joe Sternlieb, CEO of the Georgetown BID, told UrbanTurf. Sternlieb expects the study to be complete in early 2015.

Once the remaining funding is secured, the group can move forward with soliciting bids from companies who would conduct the study. In addition to the usual engineering challenges, the study will need to include input from organizations like the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), since helicopters regularly fly along the river. Sternlieb said that a consultant is already working on a number of these issues.

Georgetown Gondola Concept Hits Small Snag: Figure 2
UrbanTurf’s streetcar-inspired rendering of the gondola, by Capital Pixel

Georgetown 2028 has attracted support from local businesses, organizations, councilmembers and the neighborhood’s ANC. At its core is a set of 75 action items the neighborhood would like to see implemented over the next 15 years, most of which relate to transportation improvements. The rest seek to ramp up use of public space, including making the C&O Canal more of a destination, and improve Georgetown’s economy, especially in less-trafficked areas like K Street.

In addition to the gondola, the BID is advocating heavily on behalf of bringing a streetcar and eventually adding subway service to the neighborhood. The streetcar connecting Union Station and Georgetown would run along K Street NW, New Jersey Avenue NW and H Street. Georgetown University wants the streetcar to continue to campus, so the BID, DDOT and the University are looking into whether that’s feasible.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/a_snag_for_the_georgetown_gondola/8741

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